23 July 2018

Online GP forum for discussing mental health

General practice KnowCents

GPs are often the first point of contact for patients experiencing mental health issues, but GPs can often feel quite isolated in this role.

The Black Dog Institute hopes that sparking discussions between GPs and allied health professionals through a new online community will help GPs to feel more supported. 

The Mental Health Community of Practice is a closed internet forum where AHPRA-registered health practitioners can share their own de-identified cases and engage in conversations.

“I think that lots of GPs feel very alone when it comes to mental health,” Dr Jan Orman, the GP services consultant at the Black Dog Institute, said. 

The discussion on the website will be led by participants and may cover a range of topics, such as suicide, depression, anxiety and adolescent mental health. 

The online community also provides resources, including publications, toolkits, patient handouts, webinars, online learning modules, podcasts and the Being Well blog.  

The forum expands on the eMHPrac Community of Practice established in 2015 for GPs. But this time, the forum will be open to practice nurses, psychologists, social workers and mental health professionals, instead of GPs alone. 

Opening up the forum allows doctors to show other health professionals what the GP experience of mental-health service delivery looks like. 

The forum will also give GPs a space to discuss about how to take care of their own psychological health, and explore how psychological and physical health care overlap.

Find the community at: bit.ly/2zPQTNs